Belfast Telegraph

Honour for Northern Ireland footballer Gareth McAuley as Prince Charles presents MBE

Gareth McAuley is made an MBE by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace yesterday
Gareth McAuley is made an MBE by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace yesterday
English novelist Sir Philip Pullman shows off his medal
Andy Murray receives his knighthood

By Tony Jones

Northern Ireland football star Gareth McAuley had a fixture at Buckingham Palace yesterday as he collected his MBE.

McAuley (39), from Larne, was given the accolade for services to his sport in the New Year Honours in December.

He received the award from the Prince of Wales.

The defender scored the Green and White Army's first-ever goal at the European Championship finals in 2016 against Ukraine. He currently plays for Glasgow Rangers.

Also honoured yesterday was tennis ace Sir Andy Murray.

Sir Andy was made a knight by Charles during a Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony for a glittering tennis career that has seen him win three Grand Slams and several other major titles.

He said: "I'm very proud to receive it. It's a nice day to spend with my family - my wife and parents are here.

"I'd have liked to (have brought) my kids but I think they're a bit young. I'll show them the medal when I get home."

Sir Andy and wife Kim are the proud parents of three-year-old Sophia Olivia and 18-month-old Edie.

Best-selling author Sir Philip Pullman, known for the His Dark Materials series, was also knighted during the Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony.

Sir Philip said after receiving the honour: "I think what it means most is that it's very good to see literature, the arts, the book world, recognised in a nation's honours list - it's one of the things a nation should be pleased about, proud of."

Meanwhile, naturalist and TV presenter Chris Packham was made a CBE by the Prince of Wales for his services to nature conservation.

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